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… men seldom risk their lives where an escape is without hope of recompense.

If we didn’t live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I’ve no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged.
I tasted—careless—then— / I did not know the Wine / Came once a World—Did you?
In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas … a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed.
But we are not known for our ability to follow through on our unearned discoveries. We are top-of-the-water adventurers, who limit our opinions of the icebergs to what we can see.
Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, / But climb.
Be nobody’s darling; / Be an outcast.
He’s a ragged individualist.
Up and the world is your oyster! This time you can’t miss! Whack comes down the old shillaly and you’re down again bitin’ the dust! Can’t face it! Screeching into your pillow nights! Put back your smile in the morning, trampin’ to managers’ offices! Home again in the evenin’ ready to give up the ghost. Somebody come by, to tell you: “Go see Frohman nine-thirty sharp!” Luck’s turned, you’re on the trolley again! Curl up your ostrich feathers! Sponge off the train of your skirt! Because it’s all aboard tomorrow ….
… inventiveness is childish, practice sublime.
I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
The greatest happiness is to transform one’s feelings into actions.
Imagining something is better than remembering something.
So I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.
Know ye not, each thing we prize / Does from small beginnings rise?
Is there ever any particular spot where one can put one’s finger and say, “It all began that day, at such a time and such a place, with such an incident.”
Never confuse movement with action.
But once I had set out, I was already far on my way.
To stroll is a science, it is the gastronomy of the eye. To walk is to vegetate, to stroll is to live ….
I love walking my feet off. Gimme a map and a box of Band-Aids and I’m all set!
“I admit that I have no fixed income like your friend, and I have no desire for it,” he said to Faye. “I like adventure. I don’t dare prophesy where my liking for adventure will lead.”
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
New York is full of people on this kind of leave of absence, of people with a feeling for the tangential adventure, the risk adventure, the interlude that’s not likely to end in any double-ring ceremony.
He had never outgrown the feeling that a quest for information was a series of maneuvers in a game of espionage.
If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs—and blaming it on you.
When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.
… people seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
My strength has not equaled my mad ambition. I have remained obscure; I have done worse—I have touched success, and allowed it to escape me.
The great thing about attaining some level of success in your life is being spiritually in a place where you accept it and feel good about it … and not be afraid that tomorrow it’s going to end.
Burdens shared are easier to bear.
It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.
You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain.
I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible—I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical.
Double, double toil and trouble; / Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Trouble is a great equalizer. No matter what our differences, in time of trouble the differences fade, and we become brothers and sisters. We want to reach out and help one another.
a man who had fallen among thieves / lay by the roadside on his back / dressed in fifteenthrate ideas / wearing a round jeer for a hat
Though the snow-drifts of Yoshino were heaped across his path, doubt not that whither his heart is set, his footsteps shall tread out their way.
“What makes the desert beautiful,” says the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.”
A burden in the bush is worth two on your hands.
The worst walls are never the ones you find in your way. The worst walls are the ones you put there—you build yourself. Those are the high ones, the thick ones, the ones with no doors in.
You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you!
But I don’t know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.
Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth, but so far all we’ve gotten is Minnesota and North Dakota.
I got anything I want to have; but I’ll never have anything at all if trouble makes me go and give up!
If failure, then another long beginning. / Why hope, / Why think that Spring must bring relenting.
tomorrow is our permanent address / and there they’ll scarcely find us (if they do, / we’ll move away still further: into now
Thank goodness you’re a failure—it’s why I so distinguish you! Anything else to-day is too hideous. Look about you—look at the successes. Would you be one, on your honour?
I think success has no rules, but you can learn a great deal from failure.
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it— namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
It ain’t no sin if you crack a few laws now and then just so long as you don’t break any.
We will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail.
Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
I had rather die in the adventure of noble achievements, than live in obscure and sluggish security.
Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.
That was our clowning achievement.
God writes a lot of comedy … the trouble is, he’s stuck with so many bad actors who don’t know how to play funny.
Those who are animated by hope can perform what would seem impossibilities to those who are under the depressing influence of fear.
We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.
The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
“Look here,” I said, “people like to collect disasters.”
In the absence of a natural disaster we are left again to our own uneasy devices.
People could survive their natural trouble all right if it weren’t for the trouble they make for themselves.
Truly the suffering is great, here on earth. We blunder along, shredded by our mistakes, bludgeoned by our faults. Not having a clue where the dark path leads us. But on the whole, we stumble along bravely, don’t you think?
Life, that can shower you with so much splendour, is unremittingly cruel to those who have given up.
If life gives you lemons, make some sort of fruity juice.
Troubles grow by recounting them.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
There is no Death! What seems so is transition; / This life of mortal breath / Is but a suburb of the life Elysian, / Whose portal we call Death.
I am, and always have been, pro-death. I’m pro-death penalty; I’m pro-choice; I’m pro-assisted suicide; I’m pro-regular suicide—I’m for anything that gets the freeway moving faster.
Death … / … suddenly breathes out: / it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets, / and the beds go sailing toward a port / where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.
Down you mongrel, Death! / Back into your kennel!
He whispered craftily to me, for the hundredth, the thousandth time, that now was the time to help him die.
How do men act, when they together stand, on the last perch of this swiftly-sinking wreck? / Do they not bravely give their parting cheer, / And make their last voice loud and boldly sound / Amidst the hollow roarings of the storm?
You haven’t lived until you’ve died in California.
Death seems to provide the minds of the Anglo-Saxon race with a greater fund of amusement than any other single subject.
After all, there are worse things in life than death. If you’ve ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, you know what I’m talking about.
Death is the final stage of growth in this life. There is no total death. Only the body dies. The self or spirit, or whatever you may wish to label it, is eternal.
It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? We get to live, then we have to die. What we put into every moment is all we have.
I will leave behind me the dark ravine, and climb up gentler slopes toward that spiritual mesa where at last a wide light will fall upon my days. From there I will sing words of hope, without looking into my heart. As one who was full of compassion wished: I will sing to console men.
I reason, Earth is short— / And Anguish— absolute— / And many hurt, / But, what of that?
There is no solution to death … Life intends to kill us.
I suppose there is no man who to-day loves his country who has not perceived that in the life of the nation, as in the life of the individual, the hour of external success may be the hour of irrevocable failure, and that the hour of death, whether to nations or individuals, is often the hour of immortality.
The child had been like a strap that held them close. Now, unbuckled, they had to struggle to keep together.
How replace the life of a loved lost child with a dream?
It’s a terrible thing to die young. Still, it saves a lot of time.
We are all cremated equal.
Always go to other peoples’ funerals otherwise they won’t go to yours.
I’ve a great fancy to see my own funeral afore I die.
The woman is perfected / Her dead / Body wears the smile of accomplishment.
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs.
Their lives are in my heart / but my love grows as I see more / the roots of their wrongs and hopes.
No one seems to have said that it was an appropriate death though we know that all deaths are appropriate.
It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we’re alive—to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a façade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.
… it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out.
Not with a Club, the Heart is broken / Nor with a Stone— / A Whip so small you could not see it / I’ve known / To lash the Magic Creature / Till it fell.
It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
I have never thought there was much to be said in favour of dragging on long after all one’s friends were dead.
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
Trust not thyself till the day of thy death.
The years seem to rush by now, and I think of death as a fast approaching end of a journey—double and treble reason for loving as well as working while it is day.
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
I contemplate death as though I were continuing after its arrival. I, therefore, survive since I can contemplate myself afterward as well as before.
Now twilight lets her curtain down / And pins it with a star.
Dying seems less sad than having lived too little.
Oh, everything is gorgeous once it’s gone.
… all that she had had, and all that she had missed, were lost together, and were twice lost in this landslide of remembered losses.
The heart once broken is a heart no more, / And is absolved from all a heart must be.
Spring will not ail nor summer falter; / Nothing will know that you are gone ….
Think not that I have come in quest of common flowers; but rather to bemoan the loss of one whose scent has vanished from the air.
Mostly only loss teaches us about the value of things.
In loss itself / I find assuagement: / having lost the treasure, / I’ve nothing to fear.
It will take mind and memory months and possibly years to gather together the details and thus learn and know the whole extent of the loss.
We lose not only through death, but also by leaving and being left, by changing and letting go and moving on. And our losses include not only our separations and departures from those we love, but our conscious and unconscious losses of romantic dreams, impossible expectations, illusions of freedom and power, illusions of safety—and the loss of our own younger self, the self that thought it would always be unwrinkled and invulnerable and immortal.
… I was never one to leave anything. I had trouble parting with our old ’78 Buick.
Personal size and mental sorrow have certainly no necessary proportions. A large bulky figure has as good a right to be in deep affliction as the most graceful set of limbs in the world. But, fair or not fair, there are unbecoming conjunctions, which… taste cannot tolerate—which ridicule will seize.
I think it’s time for a real woman who has led a real life to re-design Barbie …. Her hips could start out at a normal size and then quietly expand over the years while she remained powerless to do anything about it …. Are you listening, Mattel?
The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
I don’t know what my mother-in-law’s measurements are. We haven’t had her surveyed yet.
It used to be said that by a certain age a man had the face that he deserved. Nowadays, he has the face he can afford.
I pick up the magazines. I buy into the ideal. I believe that blond, flat girls have the secret. What is far more frightening than narcissism is the zeal for self-mutilation that is spreading, infecting the world.
Be bold and LOVE YOUR BODY. STOP FIXING IT. It was never broken.
Don’t worry about your heart, it will last you as long as you live.
The least you can do is recuperate!
A doctor’s reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.
Every affliction has its own rich lesson to teach, if we would learn it.
A junky runs on junk time. When his junk is cut off, the clock runs down and stops. All he can do is hang on and wait for non-junk time to start.
In those days, all I did, when I wasn’t taking pills (speed, Ritalin especially) all day, was drink all night.
All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.
Why, if it wasn’t for psychoanalysis you’d never find out how wonderful your own mind is!
Incidentally, why was it that none of all the pious ever discovered psycho-analysis? Why did it have to wait for a completely godless Jew?
Psychotherapy can be one of the greatest and most rewarding adventures, it can bring with it the deepest feelings of personal worth, of purpose and richness in living.
My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.
Psychotherapy, unlike castor oil, which will work no matter how you get it down, is useless when forced on an uncooperative patient.
He had been in analysis for seven years and he regarded life as a long disease, alleviated by little fifty-minute bloodlettings of words from the couch.
You can be down, you can even be broken, but there’s always a way to mend.
It is through suppression that hells are formed in us.
Before I went into analysis, I told everyone lies—but when you spend all that money, you tell the truth….
The last four years of psychoanalysis are a waste of money.
Psychotherapy has taught us that in the final reckoning it is not knowledge, not technical skill, that has a curative effect, but the personality of the doctor.
We serve the patient in various functions, as an authority and a substitute for his parents, as a teacher and educator.
I am always running into peoples’ unconscious.
Sunday—the doctor’s paradise! Doctors at country clubs, doctors at the seaside, doctors with mistresses, doctors with wives, doctors in church, doctors in yachts, doctors everywhere resolutely being people, not doctors.
He who advises a sick man, whose manner of life is prejudicial to health, is clearly bound first of all to change his patient’s manner of life.
Besides the obstinancy of the nurse, I had the ignorance of the physicians to contend with.
No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this—“devoted and obedient.” This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.
Man seems to be a rickety poor sort of a thing, any way you take him; a kind of British Museum of infirmities and inferiorities. He is always undergoing repairs. A machine that was as unreliable as he is would have no market.
After two days in hospital, I took a turn for the nurse.

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